My husband preached a very practical message Sunday morning explaining how to measure our heart for God. His text was from Acts 13, where Paul stood and preached in the synagogue in Antioch, giving a history of the nation of Israel. In that sermon, Paul mentions that God said of David that he was "a man after mine own heart." We know that David was not a perfect man; he sinned many times, and some of those sins were what we would call "big" sins . . . although we realize that all sin is big sin in God's eyes! David committed adultery and murder, for example, but he was still called a man after God's own heart. So what was it about David that made him a man after God's own heart? And can we, who often sin, still be considered women after God's own heart?
Here are the measures that my husband shared to see if we have a heart for God:
- The first priority of my life is my relationship with God. David's most urgent priority was his relationship with God. In Psalm 119:15,16, David was committed to studying God's Word. He was also a man of prayer, as we see in Psalm 5:3; Psalm 55:17; and Psalm 63:6-8. How am I doing with my priorities? Is my top priority my relationship with God? Am I growing in that relationship every day?
- The place of my trust is in God when facing trials. When David faced Goliath in I Samuel 17:45,46, he assured Goliath that he was trusting in the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, to protect him and deliver Goliath into his hand. When I face a trial, do I have a spirit of fear, or do I trust in the Lord (II Timothy 1:7)? What if that trial is a serious one, such as our friends faced a couple of weeks ago, the loss of a spouse and/or child? Do I trust the Lord, or do I give up in despair?
- The passion of my life is to obey God. David had two opportunities to kill his enemy, King Saul, but he refused to harm in any way the man God had appointed to leadership in Israel (I Samuel 24:6). David obeyed God even down to the principle behind an action - not just the letter of the law. God didn't tell David not to hurt Saul, but David knew that to harm the God-appointed leader would displease God. Do I obey God wholeheartedly, because I know my obedience will please Him, or do I just half-heartedly obey God, doing only exactly what is clearly stated in His Word? Am I willing to go a little above and beyond in my obedience to God?
- The personality of my life is a spirit of humility. David was a humble man; he knew he was not worthy of the honor of the kingdom (II Samuel 7:18). And God used Him to be one of the greatest kings in history. Do I humble myself before God (James 4:10)?
- The purpose of my life is an opportunity to serve. David served his father by tending the family's sheep faithfully, even when Samuel was there to anoint the new king of Israel (I Samuel 16:11). He served King Saul, who tried more than once to kill David or have him killed (I Samuel 18:10,11 is just the first time). Then David served the people of Israel faithfully as their king. Am I looking for opportunities to serve others? Do I seek to serve even those who don't necessarily like me? Do I serve to receive recognition?
God bless you as you seek to serve Him with your whole heart!